Participants will read various selections from the anthology and engage in a moderated discussion, exploring how these selections illuminate—or challenge—their own understanding of the issue. Hopefully, we will all come away intrigued, a little wiser, and feeling more connected. Sessions will be an hour and a half. The groups are free, but you will need access to the particular book being discussed. We will be providing them as inexpensively as possible. . . see below.
Please indicate which sessions you would like to attend. You can sign up for more than one. Bring a friend!
BOOKS: In order to receive print books in time to read them before the session, please sign up at least three weeks before the session you are interested in and purchase your book at that time. If bought from our bookstore for this purpose, books are $14, including tax and shipping. Electronic versions of the anthologies can be purchased on Amazon or Apple for $5 at any time.
Include your mailing address and phone number and the titles you want to buy and we will send you an electronic invoice you can pay through PayPal, credit card, or by check.
We will all at one point or another experience illness—the bed—and caring for those who are ill—the bedside. In this year of pandemic that reality has felt very close to many us. The experience of illness is unique, intensely particular, private, often incommunicable—and also universal. It changes us and the people around us in ways we need to understand, need to share. Some of these stories, depending on where we're standing or lying, bedside or bed, can feel irreconcilable. But are they? Using stories, poems, and memoirs from the anthology View from the Bed: View from the Bedside, we will explore the experience of illness from different perspectives—men and women in the midst of it or looking back, doctors and nurses seeking to alleviate it, families trying to stay the course.
WISING UP READING FOR INSIGHT GROUPS
Having just published our sixteenth Wising Up anthology, we thought it would be interesting to develop some networks of readers across the country who would enjoy exploring together some of the major themes we focus on in our anthologies: psychological and social resilience, social justice, immigration and belonging, pluralism in families, illness and meaning, creative aging. We see our anthologies as starting points, not summations—catalysts for larger conversations, deeper connections. To this end, we are starting a series of bi-monthly Reading For Insight groups on zoom. The groups will be small to allow for sufficient interaction.
We started our press because we wanted to encourage a certain approach to writing—and most importantly to reading—one that focused constructively on difficult, potentially divisive issues in ways that united us, made us feel more capable of taking on life's challenges together in socially inclusive ways. We called our press Wising Up Press because that is why we write and why we read. We focused on anthologies because by their nature they combined the individual and the communal.
When we send out a call for an anthology it is because some idea or concern is churning in us, asking to be understood more deeply, from more perspectives than are available to us alone. All the Wising Up Anthologies can be understood as questions. Fairly fundamental ones. What is kindness? Where do we find it? What does it mean to cross class? What does that act tell us about the nature of class? What is repair in our many kinds of social relations? What meaning do we find in illness? How do we reach each other in an increasingly polarized society? What does it mean to make an intentional commitment to this country—or not to be allowed to?
When we create an anthology, we are creating a landscape out of those unique answers to shared concerns—and we are asking others to explore that landscape with us as readers, given their own unique concerns. The reading groups we're developing are designed to give readers an experience similar to what we have has editors when we find a work that really resonates with us in our own search—and we explore why and how those resonances change our understanding, what new patterns, new insights are coming into being to help us as we grapple personally with the issue. We not only listen to the writers we are reading, but we are listening to and for something in ourselves as well. In that listening, we provide community for them and for ourselves.
How does our sense of community shift when we take, for a brief while, a musing, reflective stance—even with very charged subjects? One where we seek to understand rather than persuade, to identify with rather than distinguish ourselves from? One where we realize that we are all, with all our differences, equally responsible for finding what unites us?